Dow Jones Industrial Average Battles Back; Nasdaq Snaps Losing Streak

Did Alcoa Earnings Doom Stocks?

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jan 12, 2016 at 4:28 PM
Updated on Jan 12, 2016 at 4:31 PM

It was another hot-and-cold session for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). A huge sell-off in oil had the Dow in the red for part of the session, but the index was staring at a triple-digit gain by day's end. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) clawed out of correction territory, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) snapped an eight-session losing streak. Aside from crude, capturing the attention of traders today was an uptick in U.S. job openings, as well as the unofficial start of earnings season.


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A late-day rally helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA - 16,516.22) to a 117.7-point, or 0.7%, win. Twenty-two of the Dow's 30 components finished higher, paced by a 2.4% gain at UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH). Seven blue chips ended lower, led by DuPont (NYSE:DD), down 1%, while United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) was flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,938.68) tacked on 15 points, or 0.8%, while the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,685.92) posted its first daily victory in two weeks, up 47.9 points, or 1%.
  
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 22.47) slid 1.8 points, or 7.5%, for its lowest settlement since last Wednesday.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The European Commission has opened an investigation into Halliburton Company's (NYSE:HAL) planned $35 billion purchase of sector peer Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI). In a written statement, antitrust regulators said the probe will assess whether the acquisition will "impede effective competition in breach of the EU merger regulation." Both stocks hit three-year lows on the news. (AP, via ABC News) 

  2. The Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) revealed 5.43 million job openings in November -- slightly under than the 5.45 million expected. In addition, the quits rate rose to 2% from 1.9%, spurred by resignations in the food services industry. (Business Insider)

  3. How are option traders betting on these 2 financial giants ahead of earnings?

  4. Carl Icahn rumors sparked another big session for Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX).

  5. The latest biotech to bite it hard.


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Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Commodities:

Oil panned a 12-year low and briefly dipped below $30 per barrel, amid concerns surrounding unrelenting global output and weak demand in China. In fact, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) slashed its 2016 price forecast (as did several analysts), and said crude will hold south of $50 per barrel through the end of 2017. After being delayed by roughly 50 minutes due to volatility, February crude settled 97 cents, or 3.1%, lower at $30.44 per barrel.

A stronger dollar and a rebound in European stocks took a toll on gold, which suffered its third straight daily loss. By the close, February-dated futures were down $11, or 1%, at $1,085.20 per ounce.


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